400 coats ready for wearers

Published 9:43 pm Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Between the economy and the cold snap, Suffolk Christian Church is doing its part to help keep the community clothed and warm.

On Jan. 16, a coat distribution will be held at the Church from 8 a.m. to noon. Tickets are being distributed through the Salvation Army and Social Services.

“We’ve been doing this as a church for 20 years,” said Beverly McGahee, who is helping organize the event. “We started the program because when WAVY first started their program, people had to drive all the way to Chesapeake to receive the coats. We wanted to ensure needy people without transportation in the Suffolk community could receive coats too.”

“It’s just like going into a department store. All the coats are organized according to size and whether they’re boys’, girls’, men’s or women’s,” said Kitty Martin, also helping organize the event this year. “People just come on in and pick one.”

The coats are donated by church members and individual donors who hear of the effort through the Salvation Army or Social Services.

“We currently have over 400,” Martin said. “Some coats still have tags on them.”

More coats will be purchased depending on what sizes and genders are most needed.

“People buy coats and will donate them, and we also have funds to reimburse people who need to be reimbursed for their purchase,” Martin said.

To receive a coat, individuals should visit the Salvation Army or Social Services to receive a free ticket.

“But if someone doesn’t have a ticket, and they show up we won’t turn anyone with a need away,” Martin said.